We join our companions as they are about to engage in some serious trade negotiations, involving two somewhat uneven piles of shiny objects.
Gamalian was declared the chief negotiator, thanks to his gift for gab. Hanlon passed him a special ring to give him an extra boost before the negotiations commenced. Tiran quickly mumbled to himself while fumbling around with something that looked like eagle droppings and Gamalian was looking positively stunning, prompting unexpected gusts of wind to blow his hair back.
As confident as Gamalian was feeling and looking at this point would be curbed somewhat by Kass, who is no slouch to this game himself. He’s loaded for bear and ready bust our metaphorical balls and make some gold.
It’s cold and rainy when Kass is ready to get the negotiations underway, he advises the companions that his wife, and his confidante and specialised magic user Arimosa will be attending the discussions in an advisory capacity.
Kass advises us that they generally prefer trade to the outright exchange of gold, and as such will apply greater value to items offered in trade, rather than exchanged for gold outright. Gam opens up and advises that we have an excellent supply of gems, the value of which will only have increased since the recent troubles (read: shit tornado) in Badorities. Kass seems impressed by this argument and is poised when Gam offers up the set of Blue Dragon Sword and Shield.
Kass and his team immediately confer, in what seems an almost telepathic manner and comes back with an offer of 8000gp for the set. Tierra doesn’t like the offer, and Gam agrees, laying on the argument that complete sets of such items are hard to come by. Tiran offers up the reasonable approach, suggesting that perhaps Kass was a bit hasty in his appraisal of the items and perhaps didn’t afford them the value they deserved. Kass is willing to revisit the sword & shield in the interest of moving on with the negotiations. Gam comes in next with the flute we recovered from the Cyclops’ den; Gam suggests that such an item would be invaluable to a Karnival such as Kassanoody’s, it being able to replicate the sounds of any natural creatures. Upon inspecting the flute, Kass has a reaction that even Garion noticed, even though it was the slightest of eyebrow lifts. Kass plays it off as if the flute is nice, maybe even very nice, but that is all. Roark, sitting patiently on Tiran’s head up to this point, is not about to let that response stand. “Bullshit” he calls out; startling the party, and forcing Garion to spit out his mouthful of ale. Roark is acutely aware that Kass and his advisors know something about the flute and aren’t talking.
Kass, realizing he’s been found out, recalls the tale of the flute to our party:
“This flute belonged to the great bard known as Kell Tonfatil. Kell died about 35 years ago, and passed the flute on to his 3rd son, Kiell. In the tradition of the south, 3rd sons and 4th daughters are prized above all else, with 2nd sons being brutally despised by their families. Kiell was showing great promise with his father’s flute, until his older brother, the 2nd son Jorill’s resentment of his younger brother’s favour and talent got the best of him. Jorill, who was a fighter of some acclaim, fought and killed a blue dragon at some point in his travels. Jorill used the scales from this dragon to have a Sword and Shield built for him. He then had the set enchanted so that it would only work for 2nd sons, a sign of his bitter anger at his station in life.
Kiell was found dead, robbed of his flute and stabbed by some mysterious assailant. Jorill was suspected but never found… “
Kass is desperate to hear the story of how we came across these great and long lost items. Gam tries to upsell some grand battle against hordes of Goblinoids, but Kass isn’t buying it. He politely advises Gam to, as they say in Dillith: “Cut le shit”. Game concedes and tells him of the slightly less exciting story of us battling Cyclopes in their den.
The negotiations move forward, and with us knowing how special the three items are, make our opening offer of our entire wishlist. Kass gulps, confers with his advisors and tells the companions that all will be traded for, minus the ring of force shield that he promised to another.
Delighted, the party spends some more gold on some potions and bracers of defense for everyone. Gam shakes Kass’ hand and the deal is sealed.
As it turns out, Kass himself is a second son, and when he wields the sword and shield, glows with a noticeable aura of power.
It takes three days for the items purchased to be enchanted, Gam and Hanlon experiment with the magical dagger, and Tiran finds a few sober hours to study his newly purchased fireball spell.
As the party is getting ready to depart, a mage named Wexley arrives to show the party what he’s been working on. It turns out it’s a surprise for Roark. Wexley unveils a small rodent skull (Dire Vole, I believe it was identified as). He straps it to Roark, masterfully made, it fits Roark’s avian head perfectly. Roark takes off, and when he flies back, unleashes an awful cackling laugh that permeates into the companion’s souls. Luckily, our hardened party was able to resist bolting in fear; they did, however, have some painful ringing in their ears for a few minutes afterward.
The ringing having subsided, the companions inquire about the southern paths, and Kass advises them that Dryfer Lyssen is a bad ass cat who hangs out on the wall north of Bogdanka. He can be trusted and knows his way around and possibly into Bogdanka.
The companions decide to head south towards Dryfer’s.
After a short while on the trail we narrowly avoid a dangerous pit trap, full of strange arachnids. We suggested that Lightson cleanse the pit with burning fire, but alas he was without sulphur, and such the spiders live to creep another day.
It is getting to be dusk, when we are set upon by strange people in some bushes. Garion , not about to be pushed around, calls out, challenging who or whatever is lying in wait. Sure enough, a huge man comes out of the bush towards Garion. Along with the savage, a good 16 other humans surround the companions… nice move Garion.
A scuffle ensues. Garion plants his feet to catch a charge from the barbarian, but iinstead takes a shot to the chin, while Hanlon slips around back to do some stabbing, despite Gamalian’s pleas to not kill anyone.
Tierra also flashes some fancy magic, and causes a few of them to drop.
Just as we’re in the thick of it ,Roark dives in and unleashes his new cackling skull ability. Just like that 7 of the fools run in fear, while the rest of them are left holding their ears. Tierra then paralyzes the huge leader, who is convinced of the error of this ways by the heavy end of Mr. Ferguson.
Big H as he’s called, is the leader of the Big H crew, this particular group of Lo’ka’dee.
He tells us of other groups lead by Tall Ken, Big Louie and Ugly Ron.
We leave the party as Big H presents the group to his tribe…